Garrard restructures pricing at convenience center

December 10, 2003|GARY MOYERS

LANCASTER - The price for unloading trash at the Garrard County Convenience Center will go up for commercial customers, but residential rates will remain the same.

A move to impose new prices at the convenience center drew opposition during Tuesday's Fiscal Court meeting, specifically the rates that would be charged for pickup truckloads of garbage.

"Some of these prices are way out of line," said Magistrate Tiddle Hester, referring to the proposed charge of $15 for a small truck or trailer and $25 for full-sized pickups.

Solid waste coordinator Bill Hack said the price increase is needed because the county is losing money with its current prices.


"Any time you take a truck at $8 or $10 (the current prices at the center), it's costing you money," said Hack. "You're subsidizing garbage pickup when you do that."

Hack said the convenience center pays $10 per cubic yard to have the garbage hauled away, and even small pickups typically contain more than a cubic yard when filled.

Magistrate Joe Leavell said he understands the need for break-even pricing, but his concern is the way the pricing is determined when loads arrive at the center.

"There's no consistency," he said. "You could bring the same load in two or three times and get two or three different prices. We need to do something to ensure there is consistency in the pricing."

Hack said supervisors at the center are working on the problem, and that he had investigated reports of incorrect pricing. He said supervisors will do the pricing from this point on, while inmates used at the center on a work-release program will be limited to labor.

Leavell also said the county needs to do a better job conveying to the public the cost of convenience center operation.

"I think we need to make sure the taxpayers know just how much it costs us to haul this away," he said. "If we do that, and stick to a consistent pricing system, we'll hear fewer complaints."

The magistrates voted to adopt a hybrid pricing system, implementing price increases for commercial users such as contractors while sticking to the existing prices for residential customers.

The center will no longer charge for appliances and metal, since it can recoup transfer costs by selling to recyclers.

The court also voted to close the center at 4:30 p.m. weekdays to allow supervisors to transport inmates back to the Lincoln County Regional Jail in Stanford before they would draw overtime pay. Hack will explore options to present to the court that would keep the center open later on Saturdays.

The court gave second reading approval to the new solid waste management ordinance, after some tweaking at a special meeting last month.

The original ordinance would have banned outdoor burning completely, but compromises have been made to allow some burning for farmers and others.

The ordinance was approved 3-2, with Magistrates F.C. "Cedar" Foley and Marvin Conn voting no.

In other action, magistrates voted to rebid the position of building inspector. One current applicant has not passed the certification test, and Judge-Executive E.J. Hasty said the county should begin the process again.

Garrard County currently has no building inspector.

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